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TOPIC: How BIG is Bonsai worldwide?

How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 6 months ago #8554

Hi all!

For quite some time I have worked on a research project together with Robert Baran, to find out in which countries Bonsai is practiced. Also, what countries are "BIG" in bonsai and which are small.

A lot of work, and we have come as far as a first (rough) version now. Find the intro and map below; I really hope to receive comments so we can make improvements!

Regards,
Oscar and Robert



>>>>>


Bonsai is an international horticultural artform/interest these days. Originating close to two milennia ago in what we know as Mainland China, it was brought over to Japan perhaps a thousand years ago where it underwent intensive development along different lines. (Chinese transport of the samples and ideas of artistically-designed dwarfed and potted trees came to other lands also, including Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, etc.) Due to the course of Western history, politics, and economics, Europe and North America were first introduced to these magical miniature landscapes by way of the Japanese version during the latter half of the 19th century and into the 20th. After the damage and discouragement of World War II, interest rebounded in Japan and a renewed sharing with the West occurred. Introduced to it briefly before the war, Australia and South America, and then South Africa embraced bonsai culture as well. International communication of experiences with these plants has progressed and only been further spread via the Internet.

So, just how “big” is bonsai these days? How popular is it in one country/territory compared to another? Where are enthusiasts concentrated? That is the purpose of this article, a graphic and verbal synthesis of a variety of data gathered over the past several years and distilled down over the past few months through a series of e-mails in which various reasonings and arguments were put forth for inclusion or not. It is portrayed here for the first time in such a grand fashion, both humbling and exciting for the authors, your editor and his colleague, bonsai historian Robert J. Baran. Why this article? Because surprisingly few persons around the world seem to have much exposure to “the big picture,” just how mutually shared their interest is in cultures and climates literally a world-apart from their own humble attempts with local plants.

How can “big” be measured? An all-too-typical approach would be simply in monetary terms: how many dollars, yen, pounds, yuan, euros, rands, etc. the international trade is comprised of for the trees, and their specialty pots, tools, books and magazines, videos, convention and workshop and display admissions, etc. and transportation thereof, general nursery products used for bonsai, volunteered time and donated materials, and even the size of the black market unfortunately connected to this, which includes counterfeit products and illegally-copied or shoplifted and otherwise stolen materials.
But we have other, better, more truthful ways to describe the dimensions of our common interest. For instance: the number of countries/territories known to us to have enthusiasts ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/BigPicture/Nations.html ); the number of bonsai-related clubs or enthusiasts in these areas ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/BigPicture/Census.html ); the number of large-scale exhibitions or displays that have been hosted there ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/Conventions.html ); Google searches by country for “bonsai.” Also taken into consideration, to a lesser extent, were the various books ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/Books/Books.html ) and magazines ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/Magazines.html ) on the subject available by country, and even the official issuance of postage stamps ( www.phoenixbonsai.com/Stamps.html ).

The assorted criteria were weighted and the resulting values were placed into the six categories shown.
Please study this map and let us known your thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions for improvement. This is YOUR world.



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How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 6 months ago #8557

Hi, I feel very good study, but it has its details, in Latin America the three countries with the best bonsai are Puerto Rico, and Venezuela columnia, that what the teacher says Pedro Morales of Costa Rica in his book, tropical bonsai vol 1. hehe finally my apologies for my English, later.
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How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 6 months ago #8681

Anyone else got an idea about this research? Please help us make improvements!

Thanks,
Oscar & RObert
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How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 6 months ago #8682

We expanded the research to include a more detailed look at the USA, and we combined country data to come up with regions. This does more justice to the very dense population in Europe.


Continent map:




USA map:





Looking forward to seeing your input!
Oscar and Robert

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How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 6 months ago #8696

what an interesting project...i really dont know how i could help,but i can attest to the high consetration in the new york/pennsylvania area.
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How BIG is Bonsai worldwide? 4 years 4 months ago #9032

As you know there are some very active clubs in South Africa. I also have some stats that I can send you with regards to my D Phil research.
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